When it comes to poached chicken breasts, my fool-proof recipe is guaranteed to make the juiciest, most tender, flavorful chicken breasts you have ever had!
The secret to poaching chicken breasts is the poaching liquid. Most recipes you find use water for the cooking process, but the way to make Perfect Poached Chicken Breasts is to use chicken stock instead of playing water.
*You can use the same cooking method to poach boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Ingredients for poached chicken breasts
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Poached Chicken Breasts. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
4 simple ingredients
- boneless skinless chicken breasts
- chicken broth
- black pepper
You can add your favorite fresh herbs, bay leaf, and even a little white wine. But the best way to poach chicken breasts is with the ingredients I recommend.
Can I use whole chicken breasts with this recipe?
Yes, you can. Whole chicken breasts with skin and bone can be used, but they need to be split in half. You will also need enough broth to cover the chicken completely. You will also need to increase the poaching time to 30 minutes.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken breast has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
How to make Poached Chicken Breasts
Remove the chicken breasts from the package and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth to a saucepan big enough to hold the chicken breasts. The chicken broth should be high enough in the pan to cover the chicken breasts. Then add the lemon quarters and black pepper to the broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- When the broth begins to boil, add the chicken breasts to the pan in a single layer. Do not stack the chicken breasts.
- When the broth with the chicken breasts has returned to a boil, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Do not let it cook over the heat!
Let the chicken breasts remain in the covered saucepan for 25 minutes.
*If the chicken breasts are very thick, they will not cook properly. Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and carefully slice the breasts through the middle to make two smaller chicken breast cutlets.
Remove the chicken from the broth and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Save the broth to make chicken soup or gravy.
*You can always freeze the chicken broth if you have no immediate need for it.
You can find many uses for cooked chicken. My favorite is chicken salad, but it can be served as is, with pasta salad or a tossed green salad.
Yes, you do. Since this method uses low heat to cook the chicken breasts, it’s imperative that a lid be placed on the pot immediately when taking it off the heat. This will keep the heat in the pan and allow the chicken to cook fully.
No, it is not. Both methods are very similar, but poaching is done at a lower temperature than boiling. Poaching chicken will yield tender, juicy chicken, whereas boiling will toughen the meat and dry it out.,
Using my method it takes about 25 minutes to fully cook the chicken using the low heat method.
Make sure to use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature has reached at least 165 degrees F.